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Betting Against the Spread: NFL Week 7 Picks and Odds

Jay Ajayi

Jay Ajayi

The dogs were barking in the NFL last week with nine of them covering out of the 12 Sunday matchups. It's been a topsy-turvy season so far, reinforcing the fact that some plays may seem ugly on Thursday, but they are winners on Sunday. At home, even a really bad team can play above its heads. Just because I'm running well right now, doesn't mean I'm going to force plays. There will be weeks with four or five and other weeks with just one or two.

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Record: 17-9-1 (3-1 last week, 8-2 last two weeks)

Note: All times are ET and all games are Sunday, Oct. 22 unless otherwise noted.

Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3) at Indianapolis Colts (2-4), 1 p.m.

Another week and no Andrew Luck for the Colts. He had a setback this week and will not be returning it feels for a while still. Jacoby Brissett has been playing better, but he will struggle against the Jaguars. Jacksonville is the perfect picture of this 2017 NFL season. The Jaguars crushed the Ravens overseas, but came home and lost to the Jets. After that, they won in Pittsburgh before falling at home to the Rams. Leonard Fournette has been fantastic and it's taking pressure off of Blake Bortles, who still isn't very good. The Colts’ defense was ravaged in the second half in the loss at Tennessee and now has one less day to prepare for the Jags. Indianapolis’ wins have come at home by three points over Cleveland and San Francisco (in overtime) to go with a three-point overtime loss to the Cardinals. To me, as long as this stays below three, the road team is the way to go. SELECTION: Jaguars -3

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New York Jets (3-3) at Miami Dolphins (3-2), 1 p.m.

The Jets nearly knocked off the Patriots at home last week. They outgained the defending Super Bowl champions as Josh McCown threw for 354 yards. New York beat the Dolphins at home 20-6 back in Week 3 by holding them to just 225 yards of total offense. To me, we are slightly over exaggerating how good the Jets are. Their only road win was by three points at Cleveland. Things have normalized a bit for the Dolphins, who have won their last two games including last week’s victory in Atlanta. They've been able to use Jay Ajayi and the run game to minimize the impact of Jay Cutler. Miami's defense has played well especially against the run. New York is 5-9-4 in its last 18 road games against the spread. The Jets have been a nice story, but I don't think Sunday goes their way. SELECTION: Miami -3

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New Orleans Saints (3-2) at Green Bay Packers (4-2), 1 p.m.

This is the ultimate contrarian play that fits in with this current season's trends. People are completely writing off Green Bay following the season-ending injury suffered by Aaron Rodgers. Yes, Brett Hundley (above, right) did not look good against the Vikings, but that was a tough defense on the road. Now he gets a full week to prepare for a Charmin soft New Orleans defense that is allowing almost 270 passing yards per game. This might be my favorite play of the weekend. Let's remember that one of the reasons the Saints didn't choke a huge lead to the Lions at home was because of five turnovers forced. That won't happen on the road in Green Bay where the game plan will be conservative I'm sure. Green Bay's defense has not allowed a single quarterback to throw for more than 250 yards. The Packers have been a home underdog of 3.5 to 7 points just 10 times since 1992 covering seven of those. New Orleans has been a road favorite of 3.5 to 7 points just once the last three seasons. I think Green Bay can win it outright, but I'll take the points. SELECTION: Green Bay +5.5

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Arizona Cardinals (3-3) vs. Los Angeles Rams (4-2), 1 p.m. (London)

These NFC West rivals take their game to Great Britain on Sunday as they play in Twickenham. All was well with the Cardinals for a week as they beat the Bucs 38-33 last time out. They had scored just 42 points over the previous three weeks. Adrian Peterson became relevant one week and I'm not quite sure that happens again this week. Ironically, this will be Peterson's second trip overseas as he did the same with the Saints a few weeks ago. The Rams’ offense has been putting up good numbers, although Jared Goff has struggled a bit as of late as the team has six turnovers over the last two weeks. The Rams have gone under in nine of their last 15 games as a favorite and 22 of their last 38 overall. SELECTION: Under 47

Seattle Seahawks (3-2) at New York Giants (1-5), 4:25 p.m.

Just like we all predicted, the Giants got their first victory of the season as a double-digit dog in Denver last week. Head coach Ben McAdoo passed off the play-calling duties and whether that was the difference or not, the result was a win. The offensive numbers weren't great, but the defense was pretty close to lights out. Eli Manning gets his second straight tough defense this week as Seattle heads east off a bye week. The Seahawks have scored 73 points in their last two games after managing just 37 over their first three so their offense is inconsistent. They have gone under in 18 of their last 30 games against the rest of the NFC. I don't know if the Giants can use smoke and mirrors again this week. I see it being a low-scoring game. SELECTION: Under 40

Denver Broncos (3-2) at Los Angeles Chargers (2-4), 4:25 p.m.

I think we're getting the Broncos in a good spot right here as they go for the season sweep of the Chargers. Denver is coming off a tough performance at home against the Giants where they threw for 366 yards, but three turnovers (and some shoddy kicking by Brandon McManus) did them in. The defense was fine although the run did beat them. The Broncos won the season opener at home against Los Angeles 24-21 thanks to a late FG miss. The Chargers have won two straight and now head "home" where they've lost all three games. Los Angeles has played enough defense and gotten enough from Philip Rivers to win these last two. The Chargers have covered just five of their last 19 contests at home and four of their last 14 as a favorite. There's a modest concern about Denver looking ahead to a Week 8 Monday night date in Kansas City, but the loss to the Giants may help prevent that. SELECTION: Denver +1

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— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.